[csaa-forum] seminar on 31st August

Devleena Ghosh Devleena.Ghosh at uts.edu.au
Mon Aug 13 14:48:23 CST 2007

The South Asia Seminar series is pleased to present a talk by Dr Gaia  
Giuliani on

Date: 	31st August
Day: 	Friday
Time: 	6 pm
Venue:	room 210, Building 3 (755 Harris St, Broadway), UTS

Beyond curiosity. James Mill's History and the new colonial imaginary.

In the context of a  rethink of role and aims of the British Empire  
after the American crisis and the consequent collapse of the Western  
Empire and the French Revolution, the reflections of Utilitarianism,  
and in particular, James Mill's on India represent a sort of turning  
point between the idea of Empire that dominated the preceding  
centuries and tthose at the end of the first half of the 19 th  
century. The time between the American crisis and the so-called "age  
of reforms" in the 1830s, a sort of Sattelzeit, according to Pocock,  
in which «old patterns of discourse persist while new arise, both  
interacting vigorously to produce new discursive situations and  
perhaps an intensive sense of their historicity», produced the most  
important historiographical work of the time – J. Mill's The History  
of British India – a view of the Empire as an increasingly an active,  
unitary, organic political reality. Through the symbolical and  
material creation of a true colonial government, realised by the  
efforts of governors and politicians as well as theorists and  
philosophers, the Empire lost any feature of «informality» to gain,  
in India, the form of a well-organized and "consistent" political and  
institutional whole whose legitimacy was founded on ideas of  
universal progress. The History of British India then became not just  
"the practical manual for the following generations of colonial  
officers and administrators" but a key-work that embodied the  
analytical paradigm and discursive structure of a colonial imaginary  
that was preserved, inherited  and transformed coherently into the  
"civilizing mission" - and then betrayed in its own claims -, until  
the British Empire's decay.

Dr. Gaia Giuliani is a scholar of "Colonial and Postcolonial Studies"  
at the Dept. Politica Istituzioni Storia of the University of Bologna  
(Italy). She took the Doctoral degree in February 2005 with a  
dissertation on "Liberalism, Utilitarianism and Empire: James Mill's  
History of British India and its context" which will be published by  
Aracne Editors (Rome) under the title Beyond curiosity. James Mill e  
la nascita del governo coloniale britannico in India. She is member  
of the editorial board of the first Italian review on Cultural  
Studies («Studi Culturali», il Mulino, Bologna) and collaborates with  
the most important Italian journal on history of political thought  
(«Il pensiero politico», Olschki, Firenze; «Filosofia Politica», Il  
Mulino, Bologna) in which she has published two essays ("Paul Gilroy  
and the international debate on race and racism", 2003; "The notion  
of Empire in the English political thought between the 17 th and the  
first half of 19th century").

(Dr) Devleena Ghosh
Senior Lecturer, Social Inquiry Program
(University Research Centre for Communication and Culture)
Bon Marche (Bldg 3), room 550 (enter via Harris St)

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney

Postal address: PO Box 123, Broadway, NSW 2007, Australia
Phone and Voice Mail: +61-2-95141963
Fax: +61-2-95142778

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